Diabetes is, unfortunately, all too common among seniors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—more than a quarter of people above the age of 65 live with diabetes. And the effects of the disease can be devastating. It can raise the risk for other complications such as infections and dementia, and it can have devastating effects on the body.
Although diabetes does not have a cure, it can be managed with medication, lifestyle choices, and healthy living. Here are our top tips for not just living with diabetes, but thriving with it.
Consult Your Healthcare Provider
The most important element of your diabetes treatment is having a good and consistent relationship with your healthcare provider. Make regular appointments, listen to their advice, and run any new lifestyle programs by them first.
Do you have trouble remembering to make your doctor’s appointments? Ask a family member or a trusted friend to keep you accountable. Having someone else keeping on top of it with you will decrease the likelihood of you missing an appointment. Accountability can be everything when it comes to health.
We all know that we need to eat better and exercise to live a healthier life. It can often feel like a nagging chore, and there is an entire industry built up to monetize off of fad diets and expensive exercise equipment that will be collecting dust in a few weeks. How can you make sure that the lifestyle changes you make are actually going to last the test of time?
Healthy Eating Habits You Can Stick To
How often have you heard foods be categorized as ‘good’ and ‘bad’? Well, we will not be doing that here. Food is so important for so many reasons. Personal, emotional, and cultural ties are all contributing factors to one’s diet. There is no moral right or wrong when it comes to feeding yourself.
Instead of thinking of what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’, focus on these factors:
Eat The Rainbow
Focus on diversifying the color in your diet. Colorful vegetables, fruit, and proteins not only look beautiful on your plate, but they are nutrient-dense and diverse for a full meal.
Focus on What You Love
Have you heard of the Mediterranean diet? This is a diet meant to emulate the diet of those who live in Mediterranean nations. And guess what? It includes oil, bread, and even wine. But also fresh vegetables, delicious seafood, and other nutrient-rich foods. You don’t need to deprive yourself of what you love, just focus on fresh whole ingredients.
Don’t Deprive Yourself
This might seem counterintuitive, but the best way to stop yourself from binging is to allow yourself the thing you want in a reasonable quantity. When you live a life of restriction, you’re far more likely to break and binge on the very thing you’ve been depriving yourself of.
Exercise You Can’t Wait To Do
Photo by Marcus Aurelius on Pexels
Exercise can often feel like a chore, but it is so important to move our bodies. And in a culture that is increasingly stagnant, it can feel difficult to find the time to move your body.
These are our favorite senior-friendly exercise tips:
Make It a Party
Hate exercising on your own? Try to get some of your friends and loved ones in on it! Going to group classes is not only a great way to exercise, but a great way to socialize. Classes are also ideal for fitness beginners; the instructor will be there to guide you with the proper form. Aerobics, dance, and yoga are all excellent fun choices to get your body moving and grooving.
Connect With Nature
Taking a leisurely walk can be an excellent way to reconnect with nature and get some needed exercise. Listen to audiobooks, podcasts, music, or just take in the sounds. Fresh air can be incredible for all facets of your health—physical, mental, and social.
Make It a Family Affair
Do you have young grandchildren? Keeping up with them can be a workout all on its own! Get outside and toss around the football, go for a nature walk, or ride bicycles together. You’ll get some much-needed family time while also getting needed exercise.
Diet and exercise are both excellent ways to lead a healthy lifestyle to better manage your diabetes. Products like Tandem diabetes care are also helpful tools when it comes to maintaining a healthy blood sugar. Think of your diabetes care as being a toolbox approach. You maintain multiple tools that can step in to help when other methods are failing. With a sharp set of tools, a great medical team, and strong family support you’ll be able to tackle your diabetes care with ease.
Write It Down
Things change when we write them down. They become more tangible, easier to remember, and real. Get a wall calendar and write down all of your health goals, seeing them every day will help you to remember why you are doing this. Make lists of medicines to take, exercises to do, and meals to make. Cross them off when you’re done. Having a way to track your progress can be an extremely motivating factor when it comes to building on and maintaining that progress.
Get a beautiful journal, fun calendar, or useful notebook that will make you excited to write down your progress.
An Ongoing Journey
Diabetes care is an ongoing, lifelong, and often difficult journey. But with a little reframing, motivation, and planning it can be a little easier. Engage your community of friends and family in your health journey, get beautiful cookbooks and learn how to make new dishes, go to a new movement class, or just get to know your neighborhood a little better by walking around. Think of your family, friends, and health care provider as being teammates on this journey. They’re there to support you, help you find new passions, and keep you on task and accountable. Diabetes care can be a difficult and ongoing journey, but you don’t have to be alone.